To our readers: Mike Evans' 2016 NFL Catch of the Year and the big Bucs' offseason catches — DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin — inspired us to mark the start of the 2017 season with a series of stories celebrating "The Catch." We hope you enjoy them.
TAMPA — A list of the biggest catches in Bucs' history:
1. Jan. 19, 2003
Joe Jurevicius, playing with a heavy heart as his newborn son fought for his life in a Tampa hospital, went 71 yards to set up a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC championship game.
2. Dec. 29, 1979
In the fourth quarter of the first playoff game in Bucs history, Doug Williams, rolling right and under pressure, found tight end Jimmie Giles in the corner of the end zone at Tampa Stadium for a 24-10 cushion as the Bucs beat the Eagles.
3. Sept. 20, 1998
In the first game at Raymond James Stadium, the 0-2 Bucs, coming off their first playoff season in 15 years, fell behind the Bears 15-0. But they came back, highlighted by a one-handed 44-yard touchdown by tight end Dave Moore. The Bucs christened their new home with a 27-15 win.
4. Nov. 3, 2016
Mike Evans joined the party. Evans had two touchdown catches in a loss to the Falcons - and the most spectacular catch of his young NFL career, a leaping one-handed grab near the Atlanta sideline for 16 yards before he was nailed and driven out of bounds by Falcons safety Keanu Neal.
5. Sept. 8, 2003
The world champion Bucs made the opening of the new Philadelphia football stadium as quiet as the closing of the previous one with a 17-0 win to begin the season. It was the Joe Show again. Jurevicius caught. In the fourth quarter, he reached back near the goal line, batted the ball in the air, over an Eagles defender, then spun and dove into the end zone to make the TD catch.
6. Jan. 26, 2003
Two-for-one. Keenan McCardell caught consecutive touchdown passes as the Bucs blew open Super Bowl XXXVII against the Oakland Raiders. It spelled 27-3 and the rout was on.
7. Dec. 20, 1981
In the regular-season finale against the Detroit Lions, with the NFC Central title on the line, Kevin House raced behind the Detroit defense down the right sideline and Doug Williams hit him for a startling 84-yard touchdown that jump started the Bucs to a 20-17 win and a playoff berth.
St. Petersburg Times
8. Dec. 8, 2008
Even a bad loss in Carolina couldn't completely obliterate Antonio Bryant's diving, totally horizontal one-handed catch for a score.
9. Dec. 18, 1977
Fresh from the first win in franchise history after 26 losses to begin it, Bucs quarterback Gray Huff hit Morris Owens for a 61-yard score in a 17-7 win over St. Louis in the 14th and final game of the season. It was the first home win for the franchise and, oh, the Bucs' first offensive touchdown at home in 1977.
St. Petersburg Times
10. Dec. 9, 2001
It was the subject or mirth at times: Keyshawn Johnson had a team-record 106 receptions in 2001, but only one went for a touchdown. But at least the one meant something. Johnson went up over a Lions defender for a TD with 40 seconds left to beat the Lions, 15-12.
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
Contact Martin Fennelly at [email protected] or (813) 731-8029. Follow @mjfennelly